Station Square has always been beautiful in the winter, just like any city. Not to mention, the intrusion of all the Christmas lights and decorations littering anything they can with their beauty only adds to the fact. Tinsel, holly, reefs, and ribbons of all kinds decorated the windows of every storefront, spreading around the holiday cheer to every citizen of the busy city.
People ran in and out of stores, completing some last-minute errands before stores closed for the night, whether it be for the baking soda for the sugar cookies or the very specific Christmas gift that was left forgotten until now. Sidewalks and city streets were packed with both people and snow as people rushed through the center of Station Square.
That's what Christmas Eve did to everyone, right?
Because Amy Rose was having none of it. None. Of. It.
Amy looked out her apartment window and into the city, watching everyone and their brother run around doing only chaos knows what. She sipped her hot chocolate quietly, disinterested in the commotion below her as she rested her head on the glass.
It's not that Amy was a scourge who hated Christmas; that couldn't be further from the truth, actually. She loved Christmas. She loved New Years. She loved all holidays just as much as she loved winter.
She just hated being sick.
Amy felt horrible; true bundle of sniffles and sneezes. She had caught herself a cold while being a good friend to Cream, who's winter jacket just wasn't enough to keep her warm. She figured that they were close enough to her apartment that she would be okay in the end, so she offered up her jacket to the little rabbit without hesitation.
Turns out that Amy isn't the best at judging distance. Major understatement.
Like, kilometer understatement.
Even after falling sick, Amy never regretted her decision because she knew that she kept someone felling safe and happy that day. She was just selfless like that. Amy was always one to help both her friends and complete strangers in need without a moment's notice, and she loved that about herself. Even if it got her sick… Okay, she regretted it a little.
Amy took one last look out her window before grudgingly lifting herself off her seat and into the heart of her kitchen. She dragged her feet as she made her way towards her sink to deposit her cup before rinsing it, mumbling to herself about how much she wanted to sleep the day away.
Well, she could. The only problem about that was the time. She glanced at the clock on her living room wall as she entered, only to prove her concerns. It was still pretty early, being five thir— oh no.
Amy rubbed her eyes and strained to read the clock again. Yep, it was still five thirty. Oh no.
She quickly shuffled over to the calendar that hung under that wretched clock and checked the date. December 24th. Christmas Eve.
'Of course it's Christmas Eve!' Amy thought aggravatedly to herself, recalling what she observed out her window a few minutes earlier. 'No one cares that much about their preparedness any other day of the year.'
Snapping back to reality, she heaved a heavy sigh as she rested her head on the wall in front of her. She had the best luck, didn't she?
She had to be at Rouge's house in twenty minutes.
She totally forgot about how she promised to help set up her holiday party. She didn't know the real meaning of the word dread prior to this realization. Standing up straight again, Amy whined a hefty "Do I have to go?!" before trudging her way to her bedroom to get ready to go.
As much as she would rather bundle up in a huge blanket and watch a movie, she knew that she would regret not going for a multitude of reasons. It was Christmas, for one. No one should be alone on Christmas. Also, she hadn't seen her friends in a while and they would be upset if she didn't show. Plus, she had gifts for all of them, too. She knew that she would have fun once she got there. All she had to do now was want to go there.
The plan that Rouge had arranged for everyone was to have a sleep over at her place after the night's festivities, so Amy had to pack a bag with the necessities. Toothbrush and toothpaste, quill brush, and a whole ton of Tylenol because she knew that she would need it.
She ran to her closet and practically jumped inside looking for something to wear in her rush. Once emerging from the mountain of cloth, she dawned a long sleeve dress that was similar to her summer wear, only it was longer, thicker, and lined with fluff around the hems. She slid on some black leggings and some tube socks underneath to keep her fragile body warm. Looking in the mirror and being content with her appearance, Amy grabbed her overnight bag and her gifts before running out the door, leaving a sneeze behind as she shut it quickly.
Stepping out of a cab after paying the driver and grabbing her things, Amy found herself in front of Rouge's house. Heaving a sigh, Amy slowly made her way to the front door and knocked with all her might, which only mustered a mere pat-pat given her groggy and sick state.
A moment passed before the door opened, revealing a giddy Rouge wearing a Santa hat with a piece of garland in her mouth, which she quickly removed before speaking.
"Hey Am—Oh my gosh you look terrible!" Rouge stuttered, taking in Amy's depleted facial features as she pulled her into the warmth of her home. "I- I mean you're beautiful, but you look so worn out! Hun, are you okay?"
"Ye-Achoo!" Amy attempted to brush off the question when her body betrayed her, and she chose to giggle sheepishly instead. "I'm just fine! Just a little cold, is all. How can I help?"
"By going to sleep right now!" Rouge insisted, already ushering Amy up the stairs to her bedroom. "Are you insane, leaving your house in your condition?!"
"Hey, I came to help out and have a good time with my friends! If I wanted to sleep, I could have just stayed home, ya know." Amy protested, halting their movement up the stairs as she turned around defiantly to face her friend. "I'll be okay, I promise. Let me at least do something!"
Rouge sighed, recalling how stubborn the rose-coloured hedgehog could be and almost gave in simply to avoid a tedious argument. She could tell she was getting riled up, noticing how her quills started to stand on end… or tried to, anyways; her body was too weak to keep it going for more than a couple seconds at a time. This observation brought Rouge back to reality and re-enforced the idea of going against the girl before her.
"Amy, no. You're going upstairs to sleep this off, even a little bit. You look exhausted, Hun." Rouge tried again, resting a gentle hand on her cheek that Amy soon leaned into. "Besides, I underestimated my speed. I was able to get this done pretty quickly, so I think I'll be okay to do the rest while you get some rest. I'll wake you up when everyone is supposed to arrive."
Rouge batted her eyelashes with a cutesy look on her face as Amy studied her, unimpressed. As much Amy hated to, she gave into Rouge's plea, being too weak to argue with her any longer. She turned around and continued up the stairs carefully, feeling as though she could collapse. Before she could reach the top, however, she heard Rouge call out, "For what it's worth, I'm very happy you came. Even though you really shouldn't have!" Amy laughed weakly, forcing out a 'thank you' before opening the door to Rouge's room and making her way to the bed.
Seven o'clock rolled around, and Amy was fast asleep. Rouge went to go check up on her, but decided to leave her be for a little longer, seeing how at peace she seemed. "She's gonna kill me… oh well!" She whispered to herself as she closed the door once again.
Rouge was pretty happy with herself in terms of how the decorations came out. She has hung up lights around her home, which gave the place a very calming and festive look. She strung garland through the handrails of her stairs and decorated her tree with an array of ribbon, tinsel, and ornaments, even the not-so-pretty ones that they had all made at last year's party.
Cream and Vanilla were the first to arrive, always being the punctual ones of the group. Shortly afterwards Tails arrived, a fluff ball of smiles. Shadow and Knuckles arrived at the same time, both not being insanely excited to be there but excited, nonetheless. Rouge greeted everyone with open arms. She took their gifts from everyone and laid them around the tree, and any offerings of food, which the rabbits provided plenty of, and spread them out on her coffee table. Despite being the fastest thing alive, Sonic always showed up last, and came prepared with an excuse every time.
"Hey guys, Sorry I'm late! One of you got a very high maintenance gift from me and it took me forever to find." Sonic defended himself before Rouge hushed him.
"Yeah, yeah, whatever, hedgehog. We get it, you're late. Just go sit down already!" Rouge rushed him to his seat after giving him a hug.
"Hey, if it makes you feel any better, you actually not last to show up this year!" Knuckles called out to Sonic as he sat down with the rest of the group. Sonic, having not looked up to face anyone yet, took pride in this fact and boasted a big smile. However, this lasted barely a second as Sonic looked up to see that it was Amy who was missing, and his smile fell instantly, replaced by a look of confusion and worry.
"Where's Amy? She's usually here first isn't she…?" Sonic inquired, put slightly on edge by the abnormality. Rouge, who had been listening to the conversation in the living room whilst out of the room getting drinks together, walked in to see Sonic's miniature panic and gave a little laugh. "Nope, Sonic's still last. Amy's upstairs sleeping."
"Huh? Why is she sleeping?" Tails asked worriedly, unintentionally speaking for Sonic, who didn't know what to think by this point he was so confused. "Is she okay?"
"The little rascal thought it would have been a good idea to come over with a pretty serious cold. She looked terrible when I opened the door… I actually said that too her face, too." Rouge admitted sheepishly, before continuing to explain, "I sent her upstairs to sleep it off. I was supposed to wake her up before you guys got here, but she looked to cute and… calm, and that's rare. I didn't want to spoil the moment for her." The gang all nodded, mumbling words of agreement among each other before falling into a light laugh.
"Well, I think she's had enough tranquility for now. I'm gonna go check on her." Sonic declared confidently, standing up and making his way to the staircase. "Maybe I can maintain that calmness for her, she does love to look at my face after all!"
"Are you sure it's not the other way around, Sonic?" Shadow inquired smugly, that being his first public comment of the night. Everyone quickly burst into a fit of laughter, albeit quietly, trying to respect Amy's slumber.
Sonic had no clue how to react to that and just stood there, dumbfounded as he slowly turned to look Shadow in the eye. A blush creeped onto his face out of embarrassment, and rolled his eyes as he ran up the stairs, which made the group laugh even harder.
Having made his way upstairs and away from torment, Sonic let out a deep breath. While he had to admit that it was a good dis, it flustered him, and he didn't like that. He didn't know if it was because of how Shadow of all people called him out like that, or if it was because it was kind of true.
He brushed off the thought as he made his way to Rouge's room and quietly opened the door, resting his eyes on the sleeping rose in the bed before him. Rouge was right, she did look peaceful. Sonic walked up to the bed and sat down on the floor beside it. Resting his chin on the mattress, he watched her breath in and out briefly before wiggling his finger across her nose a couple times in attempts to wake her.
"Amy… Time to get up!" He whispered, trying to be as gentle as possible with her sick self. When she stirred and opened her eyes, he flashed her a small smile. "Hey, ya little rascal."
Amy merely sniffled and smiled in return, staring at him in a daze as they sat in silence while she continued to wake herself up. When she realized what was happening wasn't a dream, however, she let out a quick scream and jumped back further on the bed.
Well, calm Amy was cool while it lasted.
Sonic was taken aback by her reaction, and cautiously asked, "I didn't actually scare you, did I?" before standing up again.
"Heh heh… No, sorry!" Amy said groggily. "I just wasn't expecting to see Sonic the Hedgehog three inches from my face. Rouge was supposed to wake me up before all of you came" She reached for a tissue as she sat up on the bed before blowing her nose while Sonic took in her appearance.
"Well, you certainly don't look all that sick, which is good." Sonic commented while sitting on the bed next to her. "You sure sound sick though!" He plugged is nose and tried to imitate her speech before she elbowed him in the chest. "Hey!" She whined, though it was ineffective as she was laughing at the same time.
"Come on, princess. Get up. Everyone's waiting for you downstairs." Sonic informed her, reaching out a hand to help her off the bed to study herself. Even with Sonic's support, Amy still had trouble standing and even fell over once. Sonic simply sighed and lifted her off the ground and into his arms.
"You really shouldn't have come, you know. You're clearly not okay." Sonic said sternly, seriously concerned.
"Yeah, Yeah." She mumbled as leaned into his chest and closed her eyes, listening to his heart; a quick yet steady beat. Sonic offered up a small chuckle, amazed by her spunk despite her ill health and gave her a quick squeeze before going back downstairs. When they reached the living room, conversation died down as everyone greeted Amy. However, before Sonic had the chance to set her down, Knuckles took a jab at him.
"Sonic, I thought your goal was to keep her calm, not make her scream" He tried, getting a few chuckles out of everyone.
Sonic rolled his eyes, sitting Amy down on the couch before sitting down next her. "Well, at least I can get a reaction out of a girl. Now, back to something important and worth discussing," Sonic glared at Knuckles, expressing his disapproval. "Since someone's not feeling all too great, I think we should let our sick little girl decide what we do tonight?" Gaining everyone's approval and a satisfying giggle from Amy, Sonic moved closer to pose his question.
"What are we doing tonight, Am—"
Sonic sat up straight, taking in what just happened, a look of utter shock on his face. Did she just sneeze on him?
"Gah! I'm so sorry, Sonic!" Amy shouted, mortified.
"…Eww." He simply stated before bursting into laughter. After a moment of confusion, everyone else soon joined in, which only made Amy feel more embarrassed. Sonic noticed her discouraged expression and laughed harder. He found it cute how she could get so upset over something so tiny and… Adorable, really.
He pulled her in to his arms, and after wiping his face off with his gloved hand, he moved his head to rest on top of hers, saying "It's okay!" before losing control of his laughter again. Amy looked up at him as best she could and took in his features. She watched his carefree expression grow even stronger with every laugh that came out of his mouth, and remembered once again why she loved him so much. Sniffling, she allowed herself to smile and enjoy the moment.
After calming himself down, Sonic turned his attention back to Amy once again. "You never answered my question. What are we doing tonight? And without the sneeze this time would be convenient." Sonic smirked, wiping her nose with his finger, earning himself a couple last minute laughs from Amy before she made up her mind.
"Can we watch a movie?" She asked as she eyed everyone hopefully.
"I don't see why not, what do you guys think?" Rouge inquired only to get nods from everyone, and she rushed to find a movie. Via Cream's suggestion, everyone decided to move all the chairs and couches away and lay all the blankets and cushions on the floor and create a soft nest. I guess Amy did get what she originally wanted today. When Rouge returned, she put the movie in the player and pressed play. Everyone sat down closely together and turned their attention to the screen.
Sonic found himself continually distracted by Amy, who had managed to get herself snuggled up next to him. She either got his attention by asking him questions about the movie, sneezing, or just doing something that he found a little cuter than he should have. It occurred to him once that she could be doing this all on purpose to get said results, though he quickly brushed that thought aside and accepted Amy's challenge to rock-paper-scissors instead.
Why question it when you could spend that time enjoying it instead? It was a holiday; Sonic could afford to let his guard down a little bit.
Everyone fell asleep before the movie was over, and Christmas morning came soon enough. Cream was the first to wake, and because of her excitement everyone was up soon after. Sonic and Amy were the last two to wake up. Amy woke up with a bang, being thrusted into a fit of sneezes before flopping back into the nest with a groan.
What was odd about Sonic waking up late is that he woke up the exact same way.
He sat up in a hurry, which proved to be a mistake as his head was swimming. Sonic looked over to Amy, who had just gotten up and started walking around with Cream, with a look of shock. Had he really been so close to her last night that he ended up catching her cold because of it? That little sneeze couldn't have been enough to do it…
He looked around at everyone else. No one else seemed to be any different. No one looked worn out. No one was sneezing. No one was falling over themselves out of dizziness. It was all just him. He looked towards Amy again, who was now sitting back down beside him, and wondered what got into him.
And why did he like it so much?
"You know, I didn't think I could ever have this much fun with a cold." Amy confessed as she looked up shyly to him. "I knew I'd had fun if I forced myself to come last night, but I didn't think it would be this much fun, you know?"
"Well, that's great, Ames." Sonic said, fighting back a sneeze. "Hopefully you'll get over that cold soon."
"Yeah, tell be about it. I am feeling a bit better, though!" Amy exclaimed, flexing her arms in a way to show that she was tough. "Thank you, Sonic. Merry Christmas!" She stood up and gave him a light kiss on the top of his head before throwing a blanket over it and running away, giggling.
Sonic released that sneeze he'd been holding back before removing the blanket from his head and wrapping it around him. He watched Amy bounce around and interact with everyone, putting smiles on all their faces. Then he thought back to himself and how he barely wanted to move.
It was like he took the pain away from her and brought it upon himself.
She was worth it.
He stood up and ran, blanket in tow, towards Amy and trapped her in the folds with him.
He may be sick, but he didn't regret it at all. She's not all bad.
Okay, he regretted it a little.
A/N: I got there's still two months before Christmas, but I got really inspired. I hope you enjoyed :) All characters mentioned belong to SEGA. No flames, only constructive criticism please 3